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Platinum 3776 Century Kaga Maki-e Sansui variations?


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I have recently discovered the existence of urushi and maki-e pens. In perusing various pen retailers offerings, the 3776 Sansui caught my eye. As I continued browsing, what also caught my eye is that there seems as though there may be two different versions of this pen -- one with a screw cap, and the other with a snap cap. My understanding was that all "Century" pens were screw caps, so this has left me a bit confused. Might someone be able to shed some light on this for me? Was the Sansui originally offered as a "non" Century pen (e.g. a "Modern Maki-e") at some point, and then the motif was moved into the "Century" line at a later point (or vice-versa)?


"3776 Century Sansui" with screw cap:




"3776 Century Sansui" with snap/push cap:


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The design may have been in the Platinum lineup for some time predating the revision to Slip N Seal screw caps. The nib inscriptions are somewhat illegible so they do not help with dating. The other possibility is the snap cap is a higher grade model - just a guess.


I've not inspected numbers of current production modern makie models. Amazingly, older models are slightly different from one another and they are called screened. Frankly some DO look better than others and this is not related to screen quality.


If I were to acquire the model you depict I'd go for the snap cap. Probably rarer.


My collection mostly focuses on older model 3776s and SE/LEs - have at least fifty. How?/What?/Why? is the feature of an upcoming pen magazine spread. 




Formerly Ryojusen Pens
The oldest and largest buyer and seller of vintage Japanese pens in America.

Member: Pen Collectors of America & Fuente, THE Japanese Pen Collectors Club

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23 hours ago, willl said:

My understanding was that all "Century" pens were screw caps,


They were… until they weren't. Some time after Platinum's 2019-2020 Catalogue was published, Platinum started rebranding the #3776 product line, or you could say redefining the ‘brand’ #3776 Century, such that now #3776 Century includes snap-cap models such as the Yakusugi, (variety of) Briar, and Pure Gold Zo-gan pens, as well as models (e.g. the Celluloid series) that aren't fitted with the Slip&Seal mechanism.


I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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  • 2 weeks later...


I am a bit confused about the Sansui as well.  I have read some posts that state this is a silk-screened pen (e.g., "modern" maki-e) but the Platinum catalogue states that it is hira maki-e -- as I understand it, this is a form of traditional maki-e that involves the transfer of the design to the pen by tracing prior to finishing (in effect, a screening) rather than completely drawing the design  by hand on the pen. 


I'd appreciate any clarification!

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